By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – For selling 2,012 or more boxes of cookies, Girl Scouts could get any prize they wanted.
What they wanted was lunch with their council’s CEO, and on Thursday, several Scouts got their wish.
The Heart of the South Council – which covers 59 counties in north Mississippi, west Tennessee and an Arkansas county – asked its Girl Scouts members to strive to sell more than 2,012 boxes of cookies per girl. 2012 marks the Girl Scouts’ centennial.
Forty-four Girl Scouts from across the council achieved the goal, and they’re all being treated to lunch with Heart of the South CEO Angela Woods. Woods traveled Thursday from Memphis to Tupelo for lunch at Harvey’s with a group of Scouts.
“This is the best part of my job,” she said, smiling. “This is my fifth lunch so far.”
Woods said cookie sales were low last year, but this year they were through the roof.
Heart of the South had the biggest percentage increase in sales – 22 percent – with a record-breaking 1.69 million boxes sold.
“It’s phenomenal,” Wood said. “Cookie sales teach the girls how to budget and plan and how to go out and greet the public. They’re invested in their community, so we’re really excited.”
For 8-year-old Cheyenne Guidry of Tupelo, the lunch capped off a successful first year in Girl Scouts.
“We had lots of booths,” said her mom, Brandy, who’s also a troop leader.
Each of the girls can choose how to use the money they raised; some go to camps, some use it for special projects and some use it to go on trips. Cheyenne will use her money for camps and a zoo trip.
Also at the lunch were Katherine Tackitt, 16, of Pontotoc, who sold 2,953 boxes, and Katie Haynes, 11, of Golden, who sold 2,028 boxes. Katherine is using her money for camp and to save up for her troop’s trip to New York in two years. Katie used her money at a Girl Scouts trip to Washington, D.C., where she toured national landmarks and toured the Smithsonian.
Katherine has been a major cookie-seller in her troop for several years now. This year went well, too, and she was excited to chat with Woods over lunch.
“It’s like (people) couldn’t get enough cookies. They kept coming back and coming back and coming back,” she said. “(Woods) is really cool. She’s not like some CEOs, where they won’t talk to kids. She’s really social with us.”
Woods was just as excited as the Scouts.
“I see the girls in groups,” she said. “I don’t get to spend as much individual time with the girls. I’m excited to get to know them and their troop leaders and parents.”